According to the Multnomah County Health Department, seven people have now been sickened by E. coli bacteria at Montessori of Alameda preschool in Portland, Oregon. Six of the patients are children and one is an adult. All of the cases have occurred in one classroom.
Four of the seven patients have lab confirmed E. coli O157:H7 infections. Two of the cases genetically match the E. coli O157:H7 strain from the national, multi-state I. M. Healthy SoyNut Butter outbreak. Three patients have Shiga toxin-producting E. coli infections, but those infections have not been subtype. The Multnomah County Health Department has been investigating this outbreak since March 7, 2017. The CDC’s page on this investigation into this outbreak has not been updated since March 13, 2017.
The national outbreak is linked to The SoyNut Butter Company’s I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter products and I.M. Healthy granola products. They were recalled earlier this month. In addition, Dixie Diner’s Club No Carb Beanit Spread has been recalled, but there has been no word on whether or not any illnesses have been linked to that product.
Check your pantry to see if you have any of these recalled products in your home. They all have a long shelf life, so chances are some consumers’ do have them in their pantries. These products should be discarded in a sealed container or taken back to the place of purchase, even if some of the product has been consumed and no one has gotten sick. E. coli bacteria can exist in microscopic clumps in a product and won’t necessarily be distributed evenly in food. And it takes just 10 of these pathogenic bacteria to make someone very sick.
The symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include severe abdominal and stomach cramps, diarrhea that is watery and/or bloody, and a mild fever. Symptoms usually begin a few days after exposure to the bacteria, but it can take as long as 10 days to get sick.
This illness can become more serious if a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) occurs. HUS can destroy the kidneys and cause seizures, coma, and death. The symptoms of HUS include little or no urine output, lethargy, pale skin, easy bruising, a skin rash, and bleeding from the nose or mouth. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor immediately.
Pritzker Hageman law firm is a national company that helps people who have been sickened by contaminated food get answers, compensation and justice. Our attorneys represent patients and families of children in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against food processors, restaurants, retailers, schools, daycare centers, and others. Attorney Fred Pritzker recently won $7.5 million for young client whose kidneys failed after he developed hemolytic uremic syndrome. Class action lawsuits may not be appropriate for outbreak victims.
If you have a question or want to know something about this outbreak, leave a comment. We will keep you informed as this is a fast moving story.